The Great Green Vine Invention

alisonbellwood

the

great

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

All children are holders of important human rights. Twenty-five years ago

in 1989, over a hundred countries agreed a UN Convention on the Rights

of the Child. In the most

green

important human rights treaty in history, they

promised to protect and promote all children’s equal rights, which are

connected

vine

and equally important.

In the 54 Articles of the Convention, countries make solemn promises to

defend children’s needs and dreams. They recognize the role of children

in realizing their rights, being heard and involved decisions. Especially,

Article 24 and Article 27 defend children’s rights to safe drinking water, good

food, a clean and safe environment, health, quality of life. And Article 29

recognizes children’s rights to education that develops personality, talents

and potential, respecting human rights and the natural environment.

— Samia Kassid

World Future Council

invention

The United Nations Declaration on the Future We Want

At the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in

2012, governments and people came together to find pathways for a safer,

more fair, and greener world for all. Everyone agreed to take new action to

end poverty, stop environmental problems, and build bridges to a more just

future. In 283 paragraphs of The Future We Want Declaration, countries

committed to defend human rights, steward resources, fight climate change

and pollution, protect animals, plants and biodiversity, and look after

oceans, mountains, wetlands and other special places.

It inspired new sustainable development goals for the whole world, with

targets for real actions on the ground. Clubs, governments, firms, schools

and people like you started 700+ partnerships, and mobilized over $515

billion. The future we want exists in the hearts and minds of our leaders,

and in the hands of us all.

by

— Carissa Wong

Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL)

illustrated by C. A. Adlam


Published and distributed by:

Voices of Future Generations International Children’s Book Series

Trust for Sustainable Living

Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, RG18 0TN, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1635 202444

Web: www.vofg.org

Special thanks to René V. Steiner for layout and graphics support:

www.steinergraphics.com.

Text © Jona David 2017

Illustrations © Carol Adlam 2017

The Voices of Future Generations International Children’s Book Series:

The Epic Eco-Inventions’ by Jona David (Europe/North America), illustrated by Carol Adlam

The Great Green Vine Invention’ by Jona David (Europe/North America), illustrated by Carol Adlam

The Tree of Hope’ by Kehkashan Basu (Middle East), illustrated by Karen Webb-Meek

The Fireflies After the Typhoon’ by Anna Kuo (Asia), illustrated by Siri Vinter

The Species-Saving Time Team’ by Lautaro Real (Latin America), illustrated by Dan Ungureanu

The Sisters’ Mind Connection’ by Allison Lievano-Gomez (Latin America), illustrated by Oscar Pinto

The Forward and Backward City’ by Diwa Boateng (Africa), illustrated by Meryl Treatner

The Voice of an Island’ by Lupe Vaai (Pacific Islands), illustrated by Li-Wen Chu

The Visible Girls’ by Tyronah Sioni (Pacific Islands), illustrated by Kasia Nieżywińska

The Mechanical Chess Invention’ by Jona David (Europe/North America), illustrated by Dan Ungureanu

CISDL

Centre for International

Sustainable Development Law

This book is printed on recycled paper, using sustainable and low-carbon printing methods.


Illustrations by C. A. Adlam


4


5


At UNESCO, we like to say that there is

no limit to the human imagination – what

matters is that it is turned towards bettering

the lives of people and protecting our planet.

Invention often starts in solitude, and our

Child Author’s genius inventor boy is no

exception. Thankfully, his curious little

brother continues to break into the secrets

of his universe, understands the value and

implications of his inventions for humanity,

and helps share them wisely.

We are all responsible for safeguarding our precious planet – from world

leaders to children, parents and communities. Science, technology and

innovation hold part of the answer. However, the starting point is to change

values and attitudes so that everyone becomes aware that we are all connected

and that every action carries an impact, whether it is related to how we

produce, consume or relate to each other. School is the best place to start this

cycle of positive change for the future. I have visited schools where students

have led successful projects to harvest rain water, use solar energy, recycle

waste and carry out community action, showing that every gesture can make

a difference.

Over the past decade, UNESCO has been working actively with countries

to integrate education for sustainable development into school programmes.

Leaders have committed to continue this effort, because it is ultimately

through education that we will be successful in bringing about a future that is

beneficial for people and for our planet. This Child Author and the others in

the Series, have a unique chance to share their vision and speak for the right

of every child to an education and a future of dignity. These are the highest

priorities for UNESCO. We wish all success to these children for their studies,

their writing and their new projects to build a better world for all.

— Irina Bokova

Director-General,

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

6


This series of children’s books Voices

of Future Generations brings to life the

importance of the sacred trust that each

generation carries, to create a better world

for our children.

The Great Green Vine Invention illuminates

how children care about growth, what it

means, and its limits. Our Child Author

offers a vision of development that is in

harmony with others and with nature.

In the face of a changing climate, the

destruction of global resources, the pollution of our environment and

injustices in our human family, the younger generation represented in this

volume offers a playful, creative voice, which carries hope for a better future.

It is a gentle reminder that courage, kindness, innovation and responsibility

are the keystones on which civilization flourishes. This is also the central

message of the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, in which I served as Secretary-

General of the UNEP World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for

Environmental Sustainability.

As a Judge for one of Brazil’s highest courts, the founding President of

the Green Planet Institute, the Chair of the IUCN World Commission

on Environmental Law and a longstanding member of the Brazilian

Environmental Council (CONAMA), I find myself contemplating our future

with both concern and optimism. This book offers joyful, heartwarming

perspectives on the same issues. By helping others to hear the voice of

this Child Author, my honourary godson, we offer new perspectives to the

world. I warmly commend the Great Green Vine Invention and the Voices

of Future Generations series to your attention, as we continue our journey

toward sustainability.

— Justice Antonio Benjamin

Judge of the Federal High Court of Brazil and Chair of the IUCN World

Commission on Environmental Law

7


8


In a house on a lake in a very green town, there lived

a boy and his little brother.

Secretly, the boy was a Mad Genius Inventor, and his

joyful little brother helped to share his inventions.

They had many adventures together.

One day in early Spring, the little brother was

watering his strawberry plants.

9


The Inventor Boy came up to him. ‘This might help’, he

said, dropping something bright green and sparkling

onto the stones beside the beds.

The little brother looked down, just as the gift unfurled

itself.

The something was shaped like a small dragon. It looked

up at them with friendly purple eyes and little leafy paws.

10


‘Hello’, said the little brother. ‘Would you like to see

my baby strawberry plant? I just planted it today.’

The tiny green plant dragon crept over to the seedling

and breathed on it. Immediately, its leaves shot up and

red strawberries sprouted.

‘Wow!’, said the little brother.

11


The Inventor Boy smiled and explained that he was

becoming interested in botany.

He had adapted the green plant dragon from a Venus

Fly Trap and a Pumpkin Vine — adding some special

features.

Suddenly, their pet robot spider became visible and

sounded the alarm.

12


The boys rushed to their internet

news station.

13


It was a broadcast about the city’s garbage

problem. A horrible accident had happened at

the city tip. A mountain of rubbish had fallen,

burying the recycling plant.

Collectors were refusing to empty household

bins as there was no room at the tip.

Rubbish was piling up in front of houses,

blocking the streets.

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15


The little brother’s pet robot spider — who was very

good at catching things — raced off to help gather up

the mess.

The green plant dragon

stayed with his now giant

strawberry bush (he was

probably making friends

with it).

16


The two little boys studied in a Terribly Good School

not far from their house by the lake.

On the first day back after Spring break, the boys had

classes in —

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science

maths

cricket

geography

art

English

archery

and gargoyle maintenance.

18


The Little Brother’s class talked about the terrible

rubbish problem in their science and geography classes,

but no one seemed to have a solution.

Then a voice from the back of the class said, ‘What if we

could make something to eat up all the rubbish? Then

we would not even need tips, and there would be no

pollution.’

19


It was a new girl, who had only just arrived at the school.

She was deaf and a sign language interpreter came to

school with her.

No one knew what to answer, so they laughed like she

had made a good joke.

20


The new girl saw their faces laughing and fell silent. She

did not feel welcome at all.

At break, no one included her. They did not know if

she would like their games. After school, she had no

playmates.

21


There was no sign of the big brother Inventor Boy. He

was probably working on something new. So the little

brother (who was friendly and joyful) invited the new

girl to come home with him.

She smiled and signed ‘yes, please!’ to him.

On their playdate they had lots of fun, even though the

little brother only knew a few words of sign language.

They took the canoe out to explore the lake in the

springtime sun. The little brother tried to explain —

using hand signals and making happy faces — that his

big brother was a Mad Genius Inventor with a secret

laboratory under the island, in the middle of the lake.

He wasn’t sure if the new girl quite understood.

22


When the canoe was going

around the lake, the new

girl pointed at something

excitedly.

On the other side of the lake, in

the middle of the forest, the sun

was glinting off a very shiny

glass shape.

They docked the canoe and

decided to investigate.

23


They climbed through the trees until they came to a small

clearing. When they saw what was making the reflections,

they were amazed!

24


The children had stumbled across a complex of

greenhouses! Only the roofs showed through the trees

as they were completely hidden in the lakeside forest.

The green plant dragon scrambled ahead — he seemed

to know the area.

They found a hatch in a greenhouse roof, but it was

locked. The Little Brother looked around him in

despair. Luckily, the new girl was very good at maths

and decoding things. She put in the password —

25


26

The hatch opened and they climbed

down, looking around as they went.


The greenhouses were brilliant. They were full

of botanical equipment and plant-growing

inventions.

27


There were cacti that grew ice-lollies for

desert travellers ...

and soft green herb bushes that grew

marshmallows.

28


There were mangrove trees with weathervanes which

warned about and also prevented storm damage.

29


There were creepers shaped like sturdy

ladders that gave rainforest nut snacks to

the climber ...

and small apple trees that grew spy

cameras in many different reds.

30


There were ferns that hung from transmission

lines and absorbed roadside air pollution ... and

mushrooms that seemed to munch up petroleum

and oils, purifying contaminated soil.

31


Some plants were growing

different coloured pumpkins.

When one fell off a vine

and unfurled into a bright

blue dragon, they suddenly

realised where their green

plant dragon had come

from!

32


There was even a large green vine with many gold berries

and leaves, growing out of a rubbish heap. The berries

would pop off the vine like popcorn to seed new vines

alongside.

‘So this is what my little brother meant by being

interested in botany!’ said the brother, laughing. Then

they heard footsteps.

33


It was the Inventor Boy. He was

worried.

‘It isn’t safe here’, he said, ‘Some of

these plants are still experiments,

and are alive. Come on, I’ll take you

home.’

As they left the greenhouse, the

dragon sneezed on the rubbish vine.

Only the new girl saw what happened.

She saw the vine start to move and

tried to signal a warning to her new

friends.

But the brothers didn’t understand.

They locked up the greenhouse and

canoed home together across the

lake for tea.

34


As they drank their tea, the alarm sounded again and

the internet news beacon came on with a new story.

Somehow, the motorway outside their home was all

blocked up! And the factories and rubbish tips nearby

were disappearing!

35


Quickly, they rushed to their family

hybrid car and the Inventor Boy pressed

‘flight mode’.

The car took off in the air, with the little

brother and his new friend buckled safely

into the car seats.

36


37


From above, they could see that the

massive, overflowing rubbish tip was

being obliterated by a great green vine.

38


39


And it was still growing! It was spreading across the

land, munching up polluting factories, rubbish bins,

motorways and even nuclear waste facilities.

The vine is from my botany project!’, said

the Inventor Boy. ‘It wasn’t complete!

How did this happen?’

The new girl pointed to the little green

plant dragon, who sneezed again, onto an

apple core left on the back seat.

The apple core sprouted into an

apple tree seedling.

‘Oh no!’, said the Inventor Boy. ‘This vine was meant to help clean up the

environment and solve the rubbish problem. Not to munch up civilisation! But

now it is growing totally enormous and out of control, eating up everything! We

have to stop it and save the town!’

They tried shouting instructions to the Great Green Vine, but because vines have

no ears, it could not hear them. It just kept growing.

As the sky grew dark, the new girl (who knew what it was like not to hear) had a

brilliant idea.

40


She beamed the car flashlight towards the vine.

The great green vine was feeling cold and lonely

in the dark. It immediately reached up towards

the light.

But as soon as the car flew out of

reach, the flashlight wasn’t bright

enough.

The vine went back to its lonely

munching in the dark.

41


There is only one solution’,

thought the Inventor Boy.

Quickly, he flew the car to

the island in the middle of

the lake, and landed next to

the trap door.

The Inventor Boy jumped

out and raced down to his

secret laboratory under the

lake.

He appeared a moment later, carrying one of his largest

gas fuel cell inventions.

The globe was all charged up with energy from nebula

gas that had been collected by satellite from the universe.

It was beaming warm purple light in all directions!

42


The boys’ new friend laughed when she saw the globe

because the amazing gas fuel cell was the same purple

as the special colour of their Terribly Good School!

They hung the globe carefully from special brackets on

the flying hybrid car and took off again.

The light beam shone down as they flew above the dark

town.

43


The purple nebula gas globe’s light was very

warm and strong. It attracted the vine away

from all the rubbish, factories and highways.

The vine started following the flying hybrid car.

44


45


Soon they were back in the countryside, across from

the boys’ lake.

They lowered the nebula gas globe into the field near the

lake. They attached their special brackets in a lanterntree

that the Inventor Boy grew from a seed with the

plant dragon’s help.

The great green vine surrounded the

glowing globe, purring. It created a

new forest.

46


The Inventor Boy, his little brother and their new friend had saved the town! They

were heroes!

When they went back to school the next day their friends were really happy.

Everyone in the school

decided to re-use everything

they could and to recycle all

their rubbish more carefully.

This way, the garbage problem

would never be so bad again.

The overflowing rubbish was all gone. So was the great

green vine, which had made everyone a bit nervous.

And the old, polluting

factories were never

rebuilt because new solar

power stations were set

up instead, in carefully

chosen locations that did

not cover up green land.

47


The Inventor Boy’s botanical discoveries were shared

with the Royal Botanical Gardens and with biology

laboratories across the world.

To thank her for all her help, the Inventor Boy gave

the little brother’s friend her very own dragon plant —

a purple one!

The little brother’s class, who had realised that the new

girl was kind and had really good ideas, all decided to

learn sign language immediately. This way, they could

understand their new friend better and make sure that

all the children in their class were always fully included

and welcome.

The End (for now)

48


Jona David (11) lives in Cambridge, UK and studies in King’s College

School. He is a citizen of UK, Canada, Switzerland and Germany, and

has authored several books about the Inventor Boy and his Little Brother.

A Child Delegate to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable

Development, he holds a medal and second place worldwide trophy

from the TSL International Schools Debates and Essay Competition

on Sustainable Living, a Gold UK Primary Maths Competition Award,

and King’s College School Academic and the Global Education prizes,

among other awards. A speaker on eco-science and technology

education for kids, he is also Climate Justice Ambassador, having

made a UNEP Billion Trees Future Generations pledge to plant over

1000 trees across the world.

Jona enjoys maths and science (especially astro-physics and botany),

as well as chess, reading, polo, swimming, canoeing, aikido and the

flute. He loves creating blueprints for eco-inventions, but still needs

to figure out how to build them.

He thanks his mother and father and especially his little brother

Nico for all their inspiration and help, and Carol Adlam, for her epic

drawings.

About the

Illustrator

Carol Adlam is a UK based artist, who draws and writes graphic novels

and children’s books. She also makes reportage art for museums and

heritage organisations. She is the winner of the 2014 United Nations /

World Future Council Children’s Book Illustration Award (Gold) and

her work has been exhibited in Bologna, Cambridge, London, and

Nottingham. Further information is available at

www.caroladlam.co.uk.

49


Thanks and Inspiring Resources

‘Voices of Future Generations’ International Commission

Warmest thanks to the International Commission, launched in 2014 by His Excellency Judge CG

Weeramantry, UNESCO Peace Education Research Award Laureate, which supports, guides and profiles

this new series of Children’s Books Series, including Ms Alexandra Wandel (WFC), Dr Marie-Claire

Cordonier Segger (CISDL), Dr Kristiann Allen (New Zealand), Ms Irina Bokova (UNESCO), Mr Karl

Hansen (Trust for Sustainable Living), Ms Emma Hopkin (UK), Dr Ying-Shih Hsieh (EQPF), Dr Maria

Leichner-Reynal (Uruguay), Ms Melinda Manuel (PNG), Ms Julia Marton-Lefevre (IUCN), Dr James Moody

(Australia), Ms Anna Oposa (The Philippines), Professor Kirsten Sandberg (UN CRC Chair), Ms Patricia

Chaves (UN DSD), Dr Marcel Szabo (Hungary), Dr Christina Voigt (Norway), Ms Gabrielle Sacconaghi-

Bacon (Moore Foundation), Ms Marcela Orvañanos de Rovzar (UNICEF Mexico) and others.

The World Future Council consists of 50 eminent global changemakers from across the globe. Together,

they work to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children and grandchildren. (www.

worldfuturecouncil.org)

United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) which celebrates its 70th

Anniversary throughout 2015, strives to build networks among nations that enable humanity’s moral and

intellectual solidarity by mobilizing for education, building intercultural understanding, pursuing scientific

cooperation, and protecting freedom of expression. (en.unesco.org)

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of 18 independent experts

that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its three Optional

Protocols, by its State parties. (www.ohchr.org)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides leadership and encourages partnership in

caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their

quality of life without compromising that of future generations. (www.unep.org)

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) envisions a just world that values and

conserves nature, working to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of

natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. (www.iucn.org)

Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) supports understanding, development

and implementation of law for sustainable development by leading legal research through scholarship and

dialogue, and facilitating legal education through teaching and capacity-building. (www.cisdl.org)

Trust for Sustainable Living and its Living Rainforest Centre exist to further the understanding

of sustainable living in the United Kingdom and abroad through high-quality education. (www.

livingrainforest.org)

Environmental Quality Protection Foundation (EQPF) established in 1984 is the premier ENGO in Taiwan.

Implementing environmental education, tree plantation, and international participation through coordinating

transdisciplinarity resources to push forward environmental

50

and sustainable development in our time.


About the ‘Voices of Future Generations’ Series

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the

Voices of Future Generations Children’s Book Series, led by the United Nations and a consortium

of educational charities including the World Future Council (WFC), the Centre for International

Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), the Environmental Quality Protection Foundation (EQPF),

the Fundacion Ecos and the Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) among others, also the Future

Generations Commissioners of several countries, and international leaders from the UN Division

for Sustainable Development, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN Education,

Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), the International Union for the Conservation of

Nature (IUCN), and other international organizations, has launched the new Voices of Future

Generations Series of Children’s Books.

Every year we feature stories from our selected group of child authors, inspired by the outcomes of

the Earth Summit, the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)

and the world’s Sustainable Development Goals, and by the Convention on the Rights of the Child

(CRC) itself. Our junior authors, ages 8-12, are concerned about future justice, poverty, the global

environment, education and children’s rights. Accompanied by illustrations, each book profiles

creative, interesting and adventurous ideas for creating a just and greener future, in the context of

children’s interests and lives.

We aim to publish the books internationally in ten languages, raising the voices of future generations

and spread their messages for a fair and sustainable tomorrow among their peers and adults,

worldwide. We welcome you to join us in support of this inspiring partnership, at www.vofg.org.

51


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

All children are holders of important human rights. Twenty-five years ago

in 1989, over a hundred countries agreed a UN Convention on the Rights

of the Child. In the most important human rights treaty in history, they

promised to protect and promote all children’s equal rights, which are

connected and equally important.

In the 54 Articles of the Convention, countries make solemn promises to

defend children’s needs and dreams. They recognize the role of children

in realizing their rights, being heard and involved in decisions. Especially,

Article 24 and Article 27 defend children’s rights to safe drinking water, good

food, a clean and safe environment, health, quality of life. And Article 29

recognizes children’s rights to education that develops personality, talents

and potential, respecting human rights and the natural environment.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

— Dr. Alexandra Wandel

World Future Council

At the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in

2012, governments and people came together to find pathways for a safer,

more fair, and greener world for all. Everyone agreed to take new action to

end poverty, stop environmental problems, and build bridges to a more just

future. In 283 paragraphs of The Future We Want Declaration, countries

committed to defend human rights, steward resources, fight climate change

and pollution, protect animals, plants and biodiversity, and look after

oceans, mountains, wetlands and other special places.

In the United Nations, countries are committing to 17 new Sustainable

Development Goals for the whole world, with targets for real actions on

the ground. Clubs, governments, firms, schools and children have started

over a thousand partnerships, and mobilized billions, to deliver. The future

we want exists in the hearts and minds of our generation, and in the hands

of us all.

— Vuyelwa Kuuya

Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL)

52


53


54


55


“With light-hearted whimsy, a big dose of magical thinking, a clear

fascination for biodiversity and a fresh hopeful view of the world, this

child author and his stories continue to inspire us all. I commend this

book and the Series to all.”

Dr Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

“This Child Author won a primary schools trophy in our global essay

competition for his epic vision of the future of sustainability education. His

new volume helps us all to rethink our relationship with nature – well done!”

Karl Hansen

Director, Trust for Sustainable Living and The Living Rainforest, UK

“This creative story engages us all in considering the science and magic of

forests and landscapes, and the value of new knowledge carefully applied.

It is a brilliant story that can spread awareness and hope and a charming

read for children!”

Dr Peter Holmgren

Director-General, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

UNESCO Voices of Future Generations | Children’s Book Series 2

The Great Green Vine Invention | 2

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